Tech Tip:Exercises to Build Pick Speed

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Drew Yale; Burlington, VT


Q: I'm wondering if you have any exercises I can do to improve my picking speed. I am working on techniques like sweep and tremolo

picking but I am looking for a way to make normal picking much faster. Thanks for any help you can give me.


A: Two things I recommend are:


  • Practice a triplet lead pattern down your favorite scales. Going down three notes from each scale degree is a great- sounding pattern and because it is an uneven number it really gives your pick a workout and helps to develop speed.
  • Find a single-string classical piece to practice. Most are very challenging and it is much more interesting than only scales. Two of my favorites are Mozart's Sonata #11 and Sonata #16.


Hope this helps!


Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House